2014 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference Keynote Address
Thank you, Dennis [Teranishi], for that kind introduction.
Good morning, everyone! I’m honored to join you for the U.S.-Japan Council’s fifth annual conference, as we celebrate the strong and lasting partnership between our two great nations.
It is especially fitting that we gather here—in Hawaii—as an organization led and championed by Irene Hirano Inouye.
Hawaiians—and the world—were saddened to say goodbye to her husband, Senator Daniel Inouye, two years ago. As a public servant, a war hero and a representative of the proud history of Japanese Americans, Senator Inouye was without equal.
Like her husband, Irene has dedicated her talents and energy to deepening the ties between the United States and Japan, and we are fortunate to have her great leadership.
Irene, thank you for your leadership, and for your commitment to furthering the partnership between our two countries.
I have traveled to Japan several times in the last couple of years to hear from senior government officials, our customers and industry colleagues. During each of those visits, I was impressed by the commitment to collaboration and partnership. Those visits have strengthened my belief that the relationship between the U.S. and Japan will grow even stronger in the years ahead.
This is a relationship that President Eisenhower described as “an indestructible partnership between our two countries,” when he signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security nearly 55 years ago. And in the half century since, our citizens on both sides of the Pacific have made those words into reality.
Today there are students from Tallahassee studying in Tokyo, collaborations between the finest scientists and researchers in Kyoto and Cambridge. Japanese athletes like Suzuki Ichiro, Yu Darvish and Tanaka Masahiro are becoming stars of the great American pastime, while New York chef Ivan Orkin is wowing residents of Japan’s capital city with his take on ramen.
At Lockheed Martin, the Government of Japan has grown to become one of our largest international customers, and our partnerships with Japanese industry have become important to our continued success.
President Eisenhower was right. The ties between our nations are indeed indestructible. And today, those ties are more important than ever before.
As you know, Japan and the United States have long been united in maintaining peace in Asia—and all around the world. From the Balkans, to the Persian Gulf, to the floor of the
United Nations General Assembly, our countries have stood together for security and stability for decades. We share a steadfast commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Yet today, those values are under assault in many parts of the world. Instability in Eastern Europe. Brutal rebel attacks in Nigeria. Devastating civil war in Syria. The Islamic State committing atrocities that shock the conscience of the world.
It’s no secret that Japan, in particular, is located in a region where we face evolving and unsettling threats. Not far from Japan’s shores we see nuclear tests in North Korea, political instability in Thailand and increased assertiveness in China.
And as a global community, we are meeting new and unprecedented challenges as well. From glaciers shrinking to Ebola spreading, nations around the world are facing threats that demand our immediate and unified attention.
Even in cyberspace, every nation and business on Earth must address a new and changing battlefield. Today, cyber warfare is a true threat. The United States and Japan each face tens of millions of cyber-attacks each year.
These are daunting challenges, to be sure. As allies, we must confront them all. And it is our shared values, our collaboration and our commitment to each other that will allow us to overcome these challenges successfully.
This conference theme has highlighted three pillars that are the foundation of our partnership: security, growth and sustainability.
As we navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in these three areas, we will shape a shared future. I’d like to take a few minutes to share my thoughts on how we can navigate them together to build a stronger, safer and more prosperous future for all of our people and for the world.
Our first imperative is security.
Japan has recently taken decisive action to realign its defense and security policies. Secretary of Defense Hagel called this change, and I quote, “a bold, historic, landmark decision [that] will enable Japan to significantly increase its contribution to regional and global security and expand its role on the world stage.”
We agree with Secretary Hagel, and welcome these changes to Japan’s defense policies.
And at Lockheed Martin, we stand ready to help Japan meet its security needs—from Aegis destroyers to PAC-3 missiles, and now the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
We are honored that we recently completed an agreement to provide Japan with 42 F-35s—the most technologically sophisticated fighter in history. When Japan’s first F-35s are delivered in 2016, they will form a cornerstone of regional security.
In cyber-security, we are using decades of experience in data processing to meet the growing challenge. We are working with government and industry customers in Japan to understand their cyber concerns, and we look forward to supporting them as we work together to address these emerging threats.
The security of our citizens, our assets and our data is the foundation of our shared prosperity. Together, we can protect our nations and be a beacon of strength and stability for the world.
The relationship between the United States and Japan was initially a product of our mutual security. Today, it has become an essential driver of global economic growth.
And growth is the second pillar of our partnership.
Our shared growth serves as a model for other countries and underpins our global free market. It creates jobs, opportunity and progress around the world. With further progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we see a relationship the U.S. State Department calls “strong, mature and increasingly interdependent,” being made stronger and more valuable still.
From cars to computers, space systems to medical devices, the U.S. and Japanese economies are inextricably linked, trading more than $290 billion dollars in goods and services.
Yet we exchange much more than goods and services. The shared growth of our two countries is propelled by sharing ideas, knowledge and technology. Both of our countries recognize the importance of investing in our people to ensure we have the leaders and innovators who will power our shared growth and prosperity for the next generation.
The U.S.-Japan Council has played a leading role in supporting educational exchange between our two countries. The TOMODACHI initiative is a perfect example of the Council’s leadership. The program aims to develop the next generation of U.S. and Japanese leaders who understand the importance of our countries’ unique partnership by creating opportunities for educational and cultural exchange while studying abroad.
At Lockheed Martin we’re working with the Bridging Foundation, an organization that works to strengthen U.S.-Japanese relations by providing scholarships for American undergraduate students to study in Japan.
Exchanges like these are the foundation of our shared growth. They underline the fact that alliances do not simply exist on paper. They live in the hearts of our people. And, as allies and friends, it is crucial that we give our citizens the chance to get to know each other, collaborate with each other and learn from each other.
That is how we can ensure shared growth far into the future.
Of course, our security and our growth are grounded in our ability to preserve and protect the resources we need to live and prosper. As the global population rapidly expands, we will need to find ways to meet growing demands for energy, food and clean water, while being responsible stewards of our environment.
That is why sustainability is the third pillar of our partnership.
The urgent need for a global focus on sustainability is something Japan understands well, especially in the devastating wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Last year, Japan was ranked fourth in the world for its “sustainable innovation.” And sustainable innovation is precisely what we need more of.
Lockheed Martin is leveraging the entirety of our technology, capability and creativity to address the world’s most pressing challenges. We are pioneering solutions that preserve our planet, while delivering affordable energy, clean water and abundant food—from molecular filtration systems to tidal power, unmanned crop monitoring to smart grid technology.
Here in Hawaii, Lockheed Martin has established an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion facility on the Big Island that is proving the viability of turning waves into wattage—converting the natural variances in ocean temperatures into clean, unlimited electricity.
We have also teamed up with Hawaii’s Kampachi Farms and the Illinois Soybean Association to create a mobile fish pen—named one of TIME magazine’s Top 25 Inventions of 2012—which will be a central component of establishing sustainable fisheries.
And I’m thrilled that our commitment to sustainability is being recognized. Lockheed Martin was recently named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, ranked in the top ten percent of publicly traded companies.
In the years ahead, we will need sustainable solutions more than ever. And we will need the best minds from both our countries—and, indeed, around the world—to meet this critical moment and build a more sustainable future.
Security. Growth. Sustainability.
Each pillar presents an imperative for the United States and Japan. They each present their own challenges and obstacles. Still, they bring amazing opportunities for stronger collaboration and partnership between our nations.
I’m optimistic, because our nations have accomplished seemingly impossible feats again and again across our shared history.
Some of you may know that in 1931, Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne embarked on a famous flight from Maine to Tokyo. It was a difficult journey—over Canada, Alaska, the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. And they completed the whole trip in a seaplane—a Lockheed Sirius.
This was relatively early in the history of flight. At the time, it wasn’t clear that a flight to Asia from the United States even made sense. When Lindbergh succeeded in his journey, though, he confirmed that this route was a viable option. That journey proved the promise of the connection between our two nations. Today, there are thousands of flight routes that directly connect our two countries.
Lockheed Martin was proud to be part of forging that connection then, and we are just as proud today. We are proud to help both Japan and the United States seize the opportunities and confront the challenges we face, together.
At Lockheed Martin, we say that our life’s work is “Engineering A Better Tomorrow” for our customers, and for the world.
As we continue our work together, let us strive to ensure we do just that. Let us ensure that our countries thrive in that future. Let us seize these incredible opportunities disguised as challenges to build a future that is secure, sustainable and prosperous.
Thank you very much.